Telco employees targetted by GCHQ via LinkedIn

Nov 11, 2013

According to German magazine, Der Spiegel, the UK's GCHQ security service/listening post has been playing fast and loose with fake LinkedIn pages to bug the PCs of telco employees of companies it wanted to spy on. The telcos include Mach and Belgacom.

GCHQ agents appear to have a developed a reliable little process - gathering names and IP addresses and then redirecting the targets to their own bogus LinkedIn or Slashdot pages (identical to the real ones) where malware could be attached to their computers which then went on to monitor everything they did online.Der Spiegel received the information from ex NSA contractor Edward Snowden via journalist Laura Poitras.Der Spiegel shows on its web site just how detailed the picture GCHQ was able to build - essentially a complex collection of data including Skype and Gmail details along with his social networking profile.

Another team picked up the process from here and used high-speed servers to reroute the subject's internet connections.

The objective was to use the telco targets to get access to encrypted links between clearinghouses and mobile network operators to gather sensitive information.

Internal documents from the security service seem to indicate that the technique was over 50 per cent sucessful.

Naturally LinkedIn is aghast, claiming to have had no knowledge of any of the clandestine activities.

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